Cape Town - Leinster
have announced that Sean Cronin will not be able to represent his
country in any of Ireland’s Six Nations fixtures due to a hamstring
The hooker did not play for Leinster in their Champions Cup match
against Montpellier last weekend after sustaining an injury to his
hamstring during the province’s convincing victory over Zebre two weeks
Since then, a scan revealed the severity of the injury which will
require ten weeks of rest, meaning the 30-year-old is not expected to
return to the game until the end of March.
Cronin will be watching from the sideline when Ireland get their Six
Nations campaign underway against Scotland at Murrayfield on February 4
and is unlikely to be ready for Leinster’s Champions Cup quarter-final
on the first weekend in April.
“It’s quite a significant hamstring injury,” assistant coach Stuart Lancaster told The42.ie.
“It’s a real shame for him as he’s actually playing great rugby but
it’s a good opportunity for us to get him right and make sure we don’t
get a recurrence of this because it must be hugely frustrating for him.
“He’s got himself into great form and now he’ll miss the Six
Nations. He went to push off and accelerate around the corner and saw it
go. He’s deeply disappointed but he’ll be back a better player.”
The injury will almost certainly impact Cronin’s chances of Lions
selection. Hooker is already one of the most hotly-contested positions,
with the likes of Rory Best, Dylan Hartley and Jamie George in the
running, and Cronin will now have no international game time before the
Luckily, Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has several choices for the
hooker’s replacement. Cronin’s absence could mean international honours
for previously uncapped Niall Scannell or Dave Heffernan.
Alternatively, it may give fellow Leinster hooker James Tracy an
opportunity to build on the one international cap he has gained so far.